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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2019.05.12)

  • [NYTimes] Frank Vogel Set to Be Lakers Head Coach; Kidd Tapped as Assistant
    (Sunday, May 12, 2019 2:34:45 AM)

    Vogel, 45, did not coach this season, but he spent two years in charge of Orlando and six seasons coaching the Indiana Pacers.

  • [NYTimes] N.B.A. Playoffs: Seasons and Jobs in Jeopardy in Game 7 Double Dose
    (Saturday, May 11, 2019 4:33:23 PM)

    The Sixers, Raptors, Blazers and Nuggets are facing elimination on Sunday in matchups with stakes far beyond these series.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: ‘This One Hurts’: Rockets Despair After Warriors Eliminate Them From Playoffs
    (Saturday, May 11, 2019 7:33:42 PM)

    The Rockets had a chance to finally vanquish the Warriors, playing without Kevin Durant and — for the first half, it seemed — Stephen Curry. But Golden State found a way.

  • [NYTimes] Warriors 118, Rockets 113 | Golden State wins series, 4-2.: Warriors Finish Off the Rockets in Game 6
    (Saturday, May 11, 2019 3:13:44 PM)

    Making do without Kevin Durant, Golden State won another trip to the Western Conference finals by clinching its semifinal series on the road against Houston.

  • [NYTimes] The End of the Warriors as We Know Them
    (Saturday, May 11, 2019 7:34:17 PM)

    No matter how they finish in the playoffs, the Warriors will leave Oakland in a move that is quintessentially California, where reinvention has long been a state of mind and a force of nature.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on pending free agent Kyrie Irving: All-Star ‘discussing’ Lakers with people
    (Saturday, May 11, 2019 1:11:54 PM)

    Celtics star Kyrie Irving can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kevin Durant on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors…

  • [NYPost] Inside Ja Morant’s ‘point god’ mind
    (Saturday, May 11, 2019 2:05:36 PM)

    Murray State star and projected NBA lottery pick Ja Morant takes a shot at some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby. Q: If you could pick the brain of any player in NBA history, who would it be? A: I would probably say Kobe [Bryant]. … Because like a dog, killer mentality he has. I…

  • [NYPost] LeBron James-Kyrie Irving reunion could hinge on this Lakers scenario
    (Saturday, May 11, 2019 11:47:36 AM)

    “If you guys will have me back.” That was the preseason caveat Kyrie Irving left with raucous Celtics fans of his plans to re-sign the following summer. Eight months of misery later, they may not. But could LeBron James be open to a reunion? Irving has had “discussions with people about playing for the Lakers,”…

  • [NYPost] Why the NBA can’t fix the Zion Williamson draft lottery
    (Saturday, May 11, 2019 9:02:52 AM)

    Forty-five minutes before a nationally televised audience views the ceremonial unveiling of the NBA draft lottery’s results Tuesday, the actual ping-pong ball drawing will unfold in a separate room inside the Chicago Hilton. Moderator Kiki VanDeWeghe, a team official from 14 franchises, select media members and an Ernst and Young lawyer will be present —…

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    86 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.05.12)

    1. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      The Lakers approach to selecting a coach is so weird. By insisting on a relatively short contract and insisting on certain assistant coaches, they have already undermined Vogel’s authority. He might do well, but he might also end up in turmoil too.

    2. Hubert

      All this talk of the Lakers dysfunction makes me think they’re going to win the lottery.

      Well, maybe 2nd or 3rd, because we’re drafting 1st.

    3. Brian Cronin

      The Lakers approach to selecting a coach is so weird. By insisting on a relatively short contract and insisting on certain assistant coaches, they have already undermined Vogel’s authority. He might do well, but he might also end up in turmoil too.

      Someone noted that Larry Bird once said that he thinks all NBA coaches only have a three-yea period of effectiveness. That seems dumb to me, but perhaps the dumb Lakers are following that plan?

      But yes, the whole thing seems like such a terrible idea and I’m actively a fan of Frank Vogel’s coaching. “Here ya go! You won’t be in control of the team because Lebron is always in charge. You only have a three-year contract and you have to have a top assistant coach who was a head coach his whole coaching career and will almost certainly try to undermine you and steal your job from you. Oh, and since you and the assistant coach are both defense-first coaches, you will have to hire a second top assistant coach to do the offense. Good luck!”

    4. Brian Cronin

      It’s funny, because I think Vogel got a bum rap for his time in Orlando. I think he’s a very good coach, but this is simply a terrible, terrible situation for him. For instance, D’Antoni is also clearly a good coach and yet we all knew his time in Los Angeles was going to be a train wreck and this seems even worse of a situation than that one, if that’s possible.

      Hopefully some day Vogel gets another real chance. It’s fascinating how the best thing he ever could have done for his career was to turn that Orlando job down.

    5. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      It’s also weird that the Laker’s think that Lue, who was a point guard, needed a special assistant coach to coach their point guard. What’s Kidd going to do, teach the proper technique for diving into the stands and spilling beer on the ref when his team needs a break?

    6. Brian Cronin

      It’s probably just one of those “Too many cooks in the kitchen” deal, where someone (Rambis? Jackson? Jeannie Buss?) really likes Jason Kidd, but not enough to convince the others to hire him as the actual head coach now, so instead he is foisted on whoever gets the head coach gig.

    7. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      That sounds right. the Lakers need a better decision making set up.

    8. Bruno Almeida

      I’ve never seen a fan base hate a head coach as much as the Bucks fans hated Jason Kidd. Aside from him being a shit human being, he was seen as a terrible coach and they were all extremely happy when he got fired, he was their Mark Jackson. It’s got all the ingredients to be an absolute mess and I’m here for it.

    9. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Of course this is terrible for Vogel. The Lakers have been exposed as a Mickey Mouse operation and it will take serious restructuring to undo the hubris that’s led them to this point, not to mention the fact that they’ve committed to a late-career Bron who seems to still be under the impression, however founded in history, that he’s a superstar that can carry any team to a deep playoff run. False.

      But let’s not forget: they gave Luke Walton 5 years and $25M and now owe him about $10M (give or take due to the pending Kings deal). If I’m Vogel, I’m taking that guaranteed money and running for the hills. Reputation or not, there are only 30 of these jobs and the dropoff in pay to assistant coach is enormous. (And there are far more assistant jobs out there. I bet at least half the teams in the league would hire Vogel in some kind of development role if he wanted it.) From what I can find, the highest paid coaches were Mike Malone at $750k in 2012, Lawrence Frank at $1M from 2013-2019 and then Ty Lue around $1.6M in 2014. Even if it’s up to $2M now, for me? Personally? Like, just my opinion and stuff? I’d take the $5M+ to fail than take $2M elsewhere.

      Vogel’s reputation is on the line, but what does he have to lose except for a bad job? If things go well, you’ll be celebrated (unless LeBron pulls a Blatt). If things go poorly, you get fired, blame it on organization mismanagement — the Lakers’ reputation has not been lower than it is now — and go collect a paycheck elsewhere in a better situation.

      I know these guys are competitive, but money talks, too.

    10. Grocer

      Vogel’s reputation is on the line, but what does he have to lose except for a bad job? If things go well, you’ll be celebrated (unless LeBron pulls a Blatt). If things go poorly, you get fired, blame it on organization mismanagement

      This sounds correct to me. There’s no long term downside for Vogel.

    11. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, I don’t think it’s a bad deal for Vogel at all, and I’d take it in a heartbeat too. There’s always the off chance that the Lakers luck out into a super team as they’ve done many times in history, and if they don’t, well it’s LeCoach’s fault and you’re going to be collecting checks for 3 years. Even Ty Lue’s reputation has been redeemed in some ways, for all the public ridicule he had to endure.

    12. CaptainB

      If you are an out of work coach like Vogel and you have the opportunity to coach Lebron in LA, even in their state of dysfunction, you take that job.

    13. Z-man

      here’s my draft probability analysis from a lunatic Knick fan’s perspective:
      -After the top 2 picks, there is not a single player that projects as a sure-fire star. Barrett, Clarke, Culver, Garland, Bol, Little, etc. all have high floors and low ceilings. Even Reddish is a consistent jumper away from being a very good rotation player or better. So at the end of the day,
      We can pretty much eliminate any substantive difference between having the 3,4, or 5 (and probably 6-11) picks, other that the strategic advantage given by a) the strength of a given team’s scouting capability and b) the strategic advantage if a team below you wants to trade up like DAL (smartly) did for Doncic or PHI (stupidly) did for Fultz.

      -we can pretty much eliminate Charlotte, Miami or Sacramento (or at #2, Boston) from the conversation…we can, right? Right?

      -the Lakers are very unlikely to jump up and very, very unlikely to land the #1 or 2 picks. Slightly less unlikely are the T-wolves. That would be fucked up if they move up, but at least they’re in the West.

      -the teams with low-ish odds that I fear will leapfrog us come from the MEM-NO-DAL group. Between them, they have an 18% chance of #1, a 37% chance of getting a top-2 pick and a 57% chance of a top 3 pick. Seems likely that one of them will move up, the question is, how far? Obviously, DAL lucking out is the most drink-till-u-puke-inducing outcome. Fuck Dolan’s Razor!

      -I don’t think a #1 or especially the #2 pick changes the Wizard’s fortunes all that much, they are fucked unless they dump Wall’s contract.

      -Atlanta getting the #1 would make them a playoff team immediately. If they land #2, do they trade down again? Maybe with the Knicks? Maybe the ping-pong ball gods will favor the team that was expected to tank but didn’t…

      -the obviously tanking teams, CHI, PHX, CLE and NYK are all pretty much in the same boat. It is nearly a certainty that one of them will be picking in the top 2, and somewhere between 25-30% that two of these teams pick in the top-2. I don’t think any of them trade down from Zion; Morant is another story.

      So essentially, the Knicks paths forward are:
      -Land the #1 or #2 pick (25%)
      -Land the #3-5 pick and trade up for Morant using either DAL’s or our own #1 picks
      -Take a risk on whoever we pick at #3-5
      -(stupidly) make a blockbuster trade for AD involving anyone but Zion (so long, Mitch)

    14. iserp

      Someone noted that Larry Bird once said that he thinks all NBA coaches only have a three-yea period of effectiveness. That seems dumb to me, but perhaps the dumb Lakers are following that plan?

      Poppovich must rest in a time capsule between games, then.

    15. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I can see Atlanta taking Barrett at #2 but they could just as well trade down for another wing and pick up even more draft assets in the process. If there’s a bidding war for Mapleine Jordan v2 or the useless-to-them Morant, I would sure as hell consider the offers.

      The future picks are either rebuilding tools (assuming Young, Huerter and Collins stall out) or they’re trade assets to get a superstar before they have to start doling out maxes to their lottery picks.

    16. ClashFan

      Yeah, if the Knicks don’t get the 1 or 2, trying to trade up to 2 would be interesting. I wonder what it would cost? Please keep Dolan and Mills out of any negotiations.

      Is it even remotely possible that a team that lands the 1 in the lottery might want to trade it? Sometimes teams do really stupid things…

    17. Early Bird

      So essentially, the Knicks paths forward are:
      -Land the #1 or #2 pick (25%)
      -Land the #3-5 pick and trade up for Morant using either DAL’s or our own #1 picks
      -Take a risk on whoever we pick at #3-5
      -(stupidly) make a blockbuster trade for AD involving anyone but Zion (so long, Mitch)

      The Knicks have a lot of paths forward in FA and the draft.

      Clarke and Garland are good prospects in my book. You don’t need to trade them for Morant. Trading for AD isn’t terrible either depending on who you can fit in free agency.

      Then of course free agency has lots of options. Signing Durant or Kawhi is a huge leap forward. Pairing one of those guys with Kemba or Kyrie is borderline championship competitor.

      The Knicks are in a good place. The draft has good players. They might blow it all, but that can happen to any team at any point. Basically, they have plenty of options.

      Even picking 5th has the bonus of letting us keep Trier while maxing KD and Kyrie, in fact picking 5th and holding may be preferable to picking 3 or 4 for that reason.

    18. ClashFan

      If the Knicks end up at 5, I wonder if they’d consider trading down rather than take Reddish? Boston has 14, 20, and 22 and might like to move up. Supposedly this is not a deep draft, though…

    19. Z-man

      Trier is a very interesting piece. He has the chance to become a pretty special offensive player, a Lou Williams type, i.e. perennial sixth man of the year candidate. Shot 39% from 3 (after shooting well from 3 in college) and had an excellent FTr of .431. I think he could help a good team right now, which is why I’d be inclined to keep him.

    20. Z-man

      I don’t think either Clarke or Garland have anywhere near the upside of Morant. Hype is hype, but the kid has all the makings of a star. I would definitely trade up for him if the cost was a single unprotected #1.

    21. Bruno Almeida

      @19

      The ftr is really what makes him stand out for me. aggressive guards who get to the line a lot and can shoot 3s are a valuable piece for good teams, he could end up being a guy like Eric Gordon too, where you can confidently rely on him to carry the offense for some stretches of the game. I just want to see him shoot 3s more often because he’s good at it, but that can come with time.

    22. Z-man

      @21 Eric Gordon is a good comp too. You really have to hand it to the FO for jumping on him as a UFA, he’s definitely a NBA rotation player at worst, which is all you hope to find in the scrap heap. Between him, Dotson and Mitch, the scouting team seems pretty good at finding guys with questionable histories who get passed over. Dotson has to develop more and he’s older, so maybe he’s less of a find, but the other 2 are absolute steals.

    23. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      As pointed out earlier, there are rumors some teams don’t consider Zion the best pick in the draft. If such a team got the number one pick, I’m sure they would want to trade it.

    24. abk

      I think I’d be open to trading down with anything besides the #1 pick. Here’s an extremely detailed breakdown of Morant’s game. The reviewer is not nearly as high on him as some of you.

      https://www.thestepien.com/2019/05/08/ja-morant-scouting-report/

      Tl;dr is Morant’s defense is atrocious as he gives very little effort. He also has questions about his shot and a very skinny frame. From the article:

      Medium / Realistic Outcome: (Ball dominant) starting PG, with below average defense. I’m personally not a fan of his form and don’t think he will ever be able to pull up quickly off the bounce, which severely limits his effectiveness. I am also not a believer in his long term C&S ability unless he really hones in on his form. Defensively, even if he is good on ball despite his size, his size limits the defensive potential of the team due to lack of defensive versatility.

      High End: Playmaking starting point guard with C&S ability, with average defense. In this role, he’s shooting less (which I think benefits his game and his team’s offensive potential). He’d be creating more and would theoretically have the ability to C&S. Defense gets a bump here if his lower USG/scoring ends up improving his effort off ball and he continues his playmaking with steals.

      Low End: Below average starter (or change of pace bench PG) with poor defense. If the shot does not improve, if his awareness does not improve, and if his shot stays the same, the only way he succeeds is as a change of pace guard. He has too much athleticism and passing ability to just be out of the league.

    25. DS

      @24 – IMHO that Porzingis video loses bite after the 2nd or 3rd viewing. At the end of the video, the same woman he pushes (which, granted, looked horrible at first) is standing in front of him again, which suggests to me she knew him and was trying to hold him back for his benefit.

      Players getting in bar fights is nothing new.

      He’s not an angel when (he thinks) no one is watching but that’s true of many public figures.

      I, like everyone here, hope that we didn’t trade away a gem but this isn’t evidence of that.

    26. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I don’t trust The Stepien as a draft resource. It’s mostly eye-test divination, and not really very stats oriented. Morant’s “bad” individual defense is partly due to his near top-10 usage percentage in the NCAA (33.3%)–a number that will surely go down in the NBA. And, it’s actually really hard to be an atrocious defender when you average 6 rebounds per 40 from the PG position and 2 steals (see Jokic, Nikola). He may need work on that end but the positive DBPM and solid steals/DRB numbers speak for themselves and put a floor on how bad he can be on defense.

      He averaged 34% from 3 on 4 attempts per 40 during his time at Murray State (and he’s a young sophomore), which doesn’t really indicate one way or the other whether he’ll have shooting issues at the next level. The numbers from distance are solidly average. If you look at only his sophomore year, he shot 36.3% on 5.2 attempts per game, which is pretty solid volume. It’s an open-question and not at all clear one way or the other.

      Also, I agree wholeheartedly with JK47–defense from the PG position is not very important in today’s game, where everyone but Patrick Beverly can’t weave through multiple screens while chasing around Steph Curry. Ja Morant’s possibly poor defense is not an issue if he’s averaging near a triple double from the PG position, which looks like a real possibility.

      He’s the clear #2 guy and I wouldn’t trade down unless the package was very good.

    27. Z-man

      Ja Morant is sensational. My favorite scout out there is Mike Schmitz and he loves the guy. I’m sold. In fact, I have to admit that if we wind up at #2, I won’t be all that upset about missing out on Zion…unless we go ahead and draft someone else over Morant.

    28. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Are there any names attached to the “Zion is not #1” rumors? I want to know so I can tell you where there will be a GM vacancy come April.

      I’d be fine getting Morant. This team with a real PG will be watchable for the first time in years. I have a hard time seeing him flail like some of the latest busts have. Might be a bad defender, but I really don’t care. Mitch will be our Gobert, covering for perimeter mistakes and rotation lapses. We desperately want to see motion. Not going to happen until we divest from the Mudiay/Ntilikina train. DSJ is a career sixth man and Trier’s ceiling is Oladipo, not a PG by any means.

    29. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      I think it’s hysterical that they are saying Linda Rambis, Kurt Rambis and Phil Jackson had a lot of input into the Lakers coaching decision and were the ones that pushed for things that eventually eliminated Tyronn Lue from consideration. You know Lue was Lebron’s gu. But Phil’s “posse” still has power in LA. What comes around, goes around. lmao

    30. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      I’m not so sure I agree that defense doesn’t matter as much from the PG position. I think it’s hard to find someone with such a diverse set of talents as ball handling, play making, basketball IQ, efficient shot creation AND defense. So teams sacrifice defense to get the more essential elements of the position. However, it’s kind of like in baseball. There are certain positions is baseball where being a power hitter is not expected or required. However, if you are a great player at that position and also come with power, you are adding tremendous value. If you can get a great playmaking and scoring PG that’s also an elite defender causing havoc every night for the other teams’s PG, you are in a heavenly position.

    31. abk

      I don’t trust The Stepien as a draft resource. It’s mostly eye-test divination, and not really very stats oriented. Morant’s “bad” individual defense is partly due to his near top-10 usage percentage in the NCAA (33.3%)–a number that will surely go down in the NBA.

      I agree it has a lot of scouting instead of just stats, but I see that as a feature, not a bug. NCAA stats don’t always translate all that well; Lonzo Ball was an awesome 3-pt college shooter and Tyler Hansborough dominated the NCAA for four years. Scouting provides answers for why certain skills may or may not translate. I think they incorporate plenty of stats too.

      Anyway, the points you made were all brought up in the article. I am higher on Morant than the guy who wrote it (though not quite sold he will be a star), but I do like that they provide way, way more info than (for example) an ESPN piece.

      As for PG defense, I agree it’s less important than other positions (PGs tend to generally be bad defenders due to lack of size) but the idea it doesn’t matter at all is nonsense.

    32. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      As pointed out earlier, there are rumors some teams don’t consider Zion the best pick in the draft. If such a team got the number one pick, I’m sure they would want to trade it.

      I don’t think so. With all the over the top hype, you’ll get crucified if you trade the #1 pick unless Anthony Davis or someone like that comes back.

      Even if you honestly believe that Morant or Barrett is more likely to ultimately become the better pro, I don’t think you can either trade the pick or not pick Zion unless your position is so ridiculously secure and powerful within that organization that even if it turns out badly you’ll still have a job. There may be one or two guys like that in NBA.

      When I was in my 20s and data processing was just starting to explode, I would often see technology that was clearly superior to IBM’s. Then when it came time to buy, the boss would always buy IBM anyway. The old saying was ” No one ever got fired for buying IBM”.

    33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I’m not so sure I agree that defense doesn’t matter as much from the PG position.

      I mean, the last four MVPs were PGs who are not exactly known for being dedicated and/or versatile defenders. Harden has seen a change in reputation since then, and is statistically one of the best post defenders against his matchups; Russ is a dominant rebounder, even without the cherry-picking, and that’s awesome for transition offense; Curry is a noted turnover generator (on both sides of the ball!) and his shortcomings are myriad beyond that. But no one would be mad if the 2016 version of any of those players were their starting PG.

      PG is without question the premium offensive position in the modern NBA. In 2016-17, here were the 10 league leaders in OBPM:

      Westbrook
      Thomas
      Harden
      Curry
      Paul
      Lowry
      James
      Conley
      Leonard
      Lillard

      Leonard is the only player whose position I would not put a “point” in front of. And we don’t need to argue about whether OBPM is a viable stat; no one should argue via eyetest that this is not an elite set of players from 2016-17 (RIP Isaiah Thomas’s hip).

      No one is arguing that they’d rather have their PG defend like Westbrook rather than Giannis, who is the total package and then some. You just can’t hide your PG on offense anymore. You can absolutely hide him on D with outstanding help defenders and a rim protector. Trying to avoid a gifted offensive player because he’s a switch liability is really missing the forest for the trees. I sure as hell would want Doncic or Young as my starting PG, even if they look to be the Harden and Curry of the future on the defensive end.

    34. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, having a Point Guard who’s a good defender is more of a luxury than a necessity, I would say, and there are different aspects to defense that are specially hard to quantify about PGs. Westbrook himself has been a part of really really good defensive teams and he’s a pretty good defender when he’s engaged, but it’s hard to be engaged getting screened all the time and having a 30% usage on offense. So much about guarding PGs on the other team is about team defense too, big men hedging on screens, defending the paint, good rotations etc. there’s just not much you can do alone when guarding guys like Harden, Curry, Lillard etc.

      I’m fine with Morant not being a good defender if the rest of his game translates well to the league, and I think it will.

    35. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Is this a playoff record for lowest turnover total between two teams in the modern NBA? 8 turnovers in 42 minutes is insane.

    36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Also, the Nuggets can’t buy a bucket right now. This is insane. 4-17 in the final quarter of Game 7!?

    37. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Absolutely classic semifinal series

      Now time to watch Kanter try to defend GSW on starter’s minutes . That said, Dame sinking a game winning 3 in Oakland in Curry or KD’s face is the stuff basketball dreams are made of.

    38. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Murray and Millsap go 7-31 from the field for a .359 TS% in a Game 7 at home

      woof

    39. Z-man

      It’s easy to forget just how young Jokic and Murray are. Experience counts for something.

      We generally don’t like Evan Turner here at KB but he’s a formidable player in the halfcourt (i.e. 4th quarter playoff basketball) and was a big factor in this win.

    40. GoNYGoNYGo dreaming of ping pong balls

      @24 – no matter how common bar fights might be, the KP news makes me feel better and better about the trade.

    41. Bruno Almeida

      The Nuggets kinda sorta choked, but the Blazers kept themselves in all game long and deserved to win. It’s a shame they’ll get eviscerated by the Warriors, but I hope we see some Lillard or McCollum magic for one or two games at least. I expected Portland to be better than most people expected but I had the Nuggets winning this series, so I just hope it’s a decent WCF.

    42. djphan

      i think the blazers can give them a series…. durant really is what separates the warriors from every other team at this point… and if he’s hobbled then it makes them rather ordinary….

      don’t think it’ll matter in the end against the blazers but against the bucks it probably will…

    43. Hubert

      TMZ reported that the men who attacked Porzingis were upset that he left the New York Knicks, who traded him to the Mavericks on Jan. 31 due in part to the All-Star being disgruntled with the franchise.

      Ha!

    44. Ntilakilla

      I finished watching the Denver-Portland game at half and then went to dine for Mother’s Day supper with my family. I can’t believe they lost. We’re all in shock.

      That KP video is something. I don’t know what happened before it but he looks bad pushing what seems like a girlfriend off him looking to chase after a fight.

    45. dtrickey

      Either the Blazers or the Nuggets were probably getting done by the Warriors, but I had the Blazers as the more likely candidate to give them a handful. I think the win today is even more impressive with Dame putting in a stinker as well.

    46. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      Denver has a good young core to work with, but as I said earlier they were very overrated coming into the playoffs. Still, with the injury to Nurkic and home court they had a great chance. They gained a great matchup advantage with that injury. Instead of being guarded by a solid defender, their best offensive player was being guarded by minus defender like Kanter. If Portland was healthy, this series would not have gone 7.

      On the upside, part of player development is getting to the playoffs and experiencing the pressure of very important games. Their young players have that very important experience under their belt now. They’ll be mentally tougher for having gotten this far and be better players for it. Getting to the playoffs is exactly what they needed. Now they need to build on it. They need to add or develop 1 more consistent star player to contend.

    47. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Is there something wrong with the game clock? I just turned it on and the Sixers appear to have scored 13 points in 12 minutes of game time. Are they playing octets instead of quarters?

    48. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      The first thing Denver needs to do is move Murray for pieces. He’s the kind of massively overrated player that, say, Phoenix would eat up and give up too much for. Just get a 3 and D PG (Pat Bev would be phenomenal on that team; Van Vleet would be good even though he’s not a particularly great defender) who can actually shoot and let Jokic be the point center.

    49. supernova

      I am not a huge found of Kyrie and am concerned about his history of injuries. After Durant the next best free agent is Leonard. I realized they play the same position, but in this era of supposedly position less basketball, maybe that would be the best option of bringing both of them on board. That would be assuming that Leonard would want to come here and he has continually been linked to the Clippers and not the Knicks. If the Knicks landed Morant, could Durant and Leonard co-exist together on the same court? I don’t see an issue on offense, but one or the other would have to assume either a shooting guard role or power forward role on defense. Maybe that might not work out. Food for thought though.

    50. dtrickey

      I don’t see an issue on offense, but one or the other would have to assume either a shooting guard role or power forward role on defense. Maybe that might not work out. Food for thought though.

      I think the question is (if we were in a position to land KD and Leonard) whether Fiz could make that work. Leonard is pretty versatile on D, just depends on whether Fiz can put together a scheme.

    51. thenoblefacehumper

      That would be assuming that Leonard would want to come here and he has continually been linked to the Clippers and not the Knicks.

      This is the only problem with your plan but it’s quite literally an insurmountable problem

    52. Jack Bauer

      KP, the drama continues….that trade is looking better and better.

      Finally the Knicks may be making the right moves instead of always making the wrong ones.

    53. The Infamous Cdiggy

      This Philly/Toronto game has been kind of nip and tuck in this 4th quarter.

    54. The Infamous Cdiggy

      Philly isn’t getting the ball into the paint. Got clogged up on the perimeter at least 2x in these critical minutes.

    55. Hubert

      I can’t believe we’re watching Tyrion try to execute Plan Talk Cersei Out Of It for the third time.

    56. Bruno Almeida

      What a crazy enjoyable game. Feels bad for Philly as they had a really good shot to win it, but that was magical. The ball hit the rim 4 times!!!!

    57. vincoug

      That was the craziest shot! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shot bounce like that and go in.

    58. Grocer

      I can’t believe we’re watching Tyrion try to execute Plan Talk Cersei Out Of It for the third time.

      I can’t believe you were watching that either. I’m sorry for your loss.

    59. dtrickey

      Raptors with some home cooking with the friendly bounce on the nice soft home rims. What a finish. I knew I should have called in sick this morning with two Game 7’s on the schedule.

    60. ClashFan

      Well, I wish I’d watched the game. Had to be a billions times better than the trash that GoT has become. Horrible episode, but I promised my wife I’d watch these final ones with her, so…

    61. DRed

      Kawhi’s TS% for the playoffs is .678. Given the context it’s not as good as what 33 year old Lebron “I led the NBA in minutes played” James did while hauling that bum ass Cavs team to the finals last year but it’s still one of the best playoff performances I’ve ever seen.

    62. Brian Cronin

      Winning is typically a good sales pitch to keep a star around, but when a team is being solely carried by the star in question, it’s less of an impressive sales pitch.

      “You have to stay here, Kawhi! Where else could you drag a team to the Conference Finals all by yourself? What’s that? Oh, pretty much anywhere? D’oh!”

    63. geo

      watching the end of the philly/raptor game now…

      still hoping for a bucks/blazers finals…giannis versus kawhi is going to be crazy…dame and cj versus the splash brothers should be epic – especially with teams playing physical defense and the starters playing almost 40 minutes a game…role players coming up big each game…

      saw something cool today…me, ma and sis headed out to laguna beach to grab a bite…was at this nice restaurant overlooking the water…table next to us was this couple with a small child maybe a few months old…the baby was a real champ, and, ma was in love…guy at the table get’s up, come’s back in a few minutes, kneels next to me and pulls out the ring…it was some seriously perfect timing, ideal setting thing…wife to be was beaming, baby was still a champ…it was a small eating area, and, ma and sis are true new yorkers (kind of loud, and, in other folks’ business :), sister was nearly crying, the whole place was cheering after a minute…

      dude crushed it…

    64. geo

      may just skip the GoT finale, and, catch it down the road…

      good and bad, it’s coming to an end…as long as jon snow doesn’t jump in to a sail boat, head out in to a hurricane, grow a beard and live by a mill, i’m okay with it…

    65. Brian Cronin

      Kawhi instead of KD? Or both?

      I’d take KD over Kawhi, but it’d be amazing to have both. I don’t see it happening, but it’d be amazing!

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